Sunday, December 18, 2011

Finding Social Mecca - And Then Moving On

This week we packed all our favorite things in a handful of boxes, and a little moving company came to take it all away. That's right folks, we're moving on from Amsterdam. 

As a Sydneysider targeted by the cities social incompetence I’d daydream about moving and living around the world, always finding a new exciting place to explore and if I was lucky enough, to call home. In the most exasperating times I swore I would never go back as I imagined myself in some rural part of Hawaii living it up with the locals (that turns out only existed in my mind, but that’s another story).

But as it did turn out, it was Amsterdam with its socially forward thinking, beautiful in its old town charm and lively yet relaxed in its atmosphere that gave me everything I was looking for. Amsterdam revolves around pleasant social gatherings. The Dutch have a word for this; “Gezellig” and there is no direct translation for it, the closest I could come to describing it is “cozy” but even that doesn’t really capture the feeling of Gezellig. Gezellig is enjoying the company of good friends over food and wine, it is sitting by a lake in the sunshine with your partner chit chatting as you watch the boats go by, it is sitting on the back of your partner’s or friends’ bike with your arms around their waist as you ride back home from the theatre. When you experience it you’ve essentially hit social Mecca.

And in the last few months, it was exactly this that had me asking the questions; is moving away the right choice? Will I find this in my next home? Why am I leaving the friends I love so much? Why am I leaving this amazing community I built for myself? Am I crazy? Spoilt? or just stupid?

But, there is one solid reason why I’m leaving Amsterdam, the lack of being close to nature and beaches that are so fundamental to my happiness, without them I feel lost and find it difficult to picture myself living a fulfilled, happy life in any place.

So our adventure in Amsterdam may be over, but the adventure itself continues. Lisboa let’s see what you have to offer!


Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your posts and being a Sydneysider envy the experiences you are having. I was able to have a small taste of the Amsterdam life - you being a big part of that experience - and I loved it, memories to last a life time.
I do say though "go for it" for your next adventure and am looking forward to reading all the new stories. Best wishes and safe travelling, my friend.

Tiki_Green said...

How can someone afford this? i lived outside of Amsterdam for a year and it was still so expensive. any tips?

Angela said...

Kristie, thanks so much we are so happy we gave you a good experience and memories! Let's make some new ones when you visit us in Lisbon! :)

Tiki Green, living in Amsterdam certainly isn't cheap, rent is the biggest cost factor so it helps if you're 2 people splitting the costs. If you're here alone then sharing a flat would be the best way to keep your costs down.

Bela Monstro said...

I just LOVED this text. But i'm sad i just came when the blog's over! On the other hand i became happy because you are going to live in my hometown :)) you'll love the summer in our beaches, you'll love good weather nights at Bairro Alto, you'll love the low prices and i think you'll love the food! ;)